Talk:International Article Number (EAN)

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EAN18 ???[edit]

The article talks of EAN18 - I think that is at least confusing if not entirely wrong.

Apparently EAN-18 is an unofficial name for the Serial Shipping Container Code - see "EAN-13 checksum even or odd" below. (talk) 12:15, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Conspiracy Theories[edit]

For fun and completeness the conspiracy theory may be mentioned, according to which some evil elite group of people (often referred to as illuminati) are the actual leaders of the world, and they are obsessed with putting secret signs on everything they control and own.

So it is true for every EAN-code, since it has an evil number 666 encoded in the separation/calibration character in the beginning, middle, and in the end. In fact, this character, the double line, encodes the six! However there is no reason to take the code for six for this purpose. The six has no sense in terms of binary encoding (like 2, 4, 8, etc.), and there is an eight which is also encoded as a symmetric double line, if the symmetry is a nessesary criterion for some reason.

EAN-13 Image[edit]

Unless someone disagrees I will be adding a correct EAN-13 image compliant with GS1 spec. (In particular it would include right quiet zone indicator and correct font OCR-B. I would also add printing considerations paragraph on the size of EAN-13 symbol.

Gs1mo 08:06, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I've added two links that are very useful for people that want to create their own codes, namely C routines for checksum calculation and the actual bit pattern (which in this format can't be found elsewhere on the net). Unfortunately someone keeps deleting those links. I'm reverting the page again. 17:34 BST 24. Oct. 2006

I deleted those links because I felt they were superfluous and failed to add any additional information not provided by the article. I do not feel that programming routines are useful information that someone on wikipedia might wish to know about. In addition, I believe the links are nothing more than a thinnly veiled advertisement of the site's barcode software. I do not wish to revert this article a third time myself, so I shall wait for someone else to give their opinion on the links. Links have also been added to the articles Code 128 and Code 39. --Millbrooky 16:47, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Given that the article actually discusses encoding a Code EAN, information on the bit pattern and the checksum calculation is vital to actually create a code (same goes for the Code 128 article). The pages where the links lead to have been deliberately stripped of any referral to the commercial content of the site, e.g. download links. Let's see what other users think. 18:23 BST 24. Oct. 2006

How to calculate the checksum in Ruby[edit]

I think this is information that would be good to have in the article for the programmers but don't know where to add it.

magic = 10
ean = "882224091442".split(/./)
times = [1,3] * 6
sum = 0
for i in 0.upto(12) do
  sum += ean[i].to_i * times[i]
checksum = (magic - (sum % magic)) % magic
if checksum 1..9
  return checksum
 return false
end 07:30, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Per WP:NOT, Wikipedia is not a how-to guide. This article is explaining what an EAN is and I don't believe that a code example is necessary to do that. Maybe some text might be added to make more precise how the checksum is defined, though. EdJohnston 01:39, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
I think code can be a good way to explain things, so not a how-to as much as a clarification. I'd probably prefer to use C or something a bit more standard than Ruby though. Python maybe? Pseudo-code? Hobit (talk) 18:05, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

EAN-13 Image... checksum digit[edit]

Are you sure the Ean13 example in the image is correct? In particular shouldn't the checksum be 2 rather than 5?

Unles I got something wrong these are my calculations:

2+0+3+2+1+8 = 16

0+1+0+5+1+7 = 14

16 + 3*14 = 58

60-58 = 2 <-- This is the checksum 12:31, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Yep, you're right. Don't know how to notify the creator though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:49, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

EAN-13 so-called "parity"[edit]

The use of parity here is unusual in that it doesn't refer to a number's being even or odd, but just an arbitrary choice between two possible encodings. This is perhaps worth mentioning? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Obscaenvs (talkcontribs) 15:47, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

EAN-13 checksum even or odd[edit]

On another wikipedia page (, we say both ISBN-13 and EAN-13 have the sum of the even digits multiplied by 3, whereas here it uses the odd. Which of these pages is correct? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:35, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

The sum of the even digits should be multiplied by 3 in an EAN-13 code; what was mentioned on this page was "EAN-18", which seems to be an unofficial name for the Serial Shipping Container Code, the longest type of code for which the algorithm is used. I've improved the section slightly, but it could probably be moved to the GTIN page as it isn't specific to EAN-13. (talk) 12:11, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

The article says that EAN-13 multiplies by 1 in odd digits, but in the example it calculates multiplying by 3. It also says EAN-8 reverses that, and in the example shows the EAN-8 multiplying by 1 in odd digits. It is really confusing. What is the actual weight? There has to be a definite statement to disambiguate that and the examples have to be consistent with that statement. In this page it actually says the reverse of what you claim. I verified it from the example EAN-13. Odd digits are multiplied by 3. The example showing that odd digits are multiplied by 1 is wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:30, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

UNDUE with bookland?[edit]

Hi all, I think the current bookland/musicland sections put undue weight (WP:UNDUE) on this material. I've added a one-liner instead and would like to remove the whole book/music-land sections (or perhaps greatly prune them). Thoughts? (BTW, I added the one liner not noticing that those sections had been added. Not sure how that happened. If we keep the section my one liner should refer to that section). Hobit (talk) 17:31, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Bookland for a little background. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 01:01, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm aware of that and the DRV. I'm not certain what that has to do with the undue issue however. Hobit (talk) 12:57, 7 October 2010 (UTC)


What is the source of tables: "Structure of EAN-13" and "Encoding of the digits"? I think that is very important to knowing how it works, how to make specific barcodes. And first of all what is the source of recipe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:36, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Japanese Article Number merge proposal[edit]

As far as I can tell, the Japanese Article Number is either a synonym or a minor variation on the International Article Number scheme. At present, the JAN article is a stub- is there anything that could be added that wouldn't simply be a pointless duplication of the International Article Number article?

If not, IMHO they should be merged.

Ubcule (talk) 09:28, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

No apparent disagreement, merge carried out. Ubcule (talk) 21:42, 17 July 2012 (UTC)